Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a really great read. There was humor, life, and blackmail…oh, and emails.

Simon is gay. Not that the world knows about it. Only one person. An anonymous someone going by Blue, the person Simon had been emailing to “talk” about being gay after an anonymous post on the school’s Tumblr site.

The emails are almost like characters themselves, being anonymous, yet so personal. Two people holding secret conversations about life and love. Very entertaining. Very humorous. And sort of so sweet.

But the emails are what get Simon into trouble. Maybe because he forgot to log out on the school computer? Maybe because someone saw them–Martin, who took pics and threatened to “out” Simon to the school if he didn’t help a girl named Abby to go out with him.

The problem was, Simon fell for Blue through their emails. Not only would he be outed but his online crush would be as well…if only he could figure out who Blue was.

Now, that seems story enough, but once the quirky family was added in, and seasoned with the drama of high school and best friends…it’s a really good story. It didn’t get too lopsided of being goofy or intense. There was a perfect balance of all the emotions explored.

And SPOILER ALERT: Blue is discovered. But I won’t say who it is. Nor will I say anything about him and Simon after becoming “in the know”…other than I am so glad that Becky [Albertalli] had that chapter after to really complete out the story.

PERFECT!

Another bang for this year in reading!

*STARTING OFF THE YEAR WITH A BANG! READ* ~ JANUARY 2017: First LGBTQ story of the year and it’s a win!

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Review: God Pharm

God Pharm
God Pharm by Garrett Roper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book very much earned FIVE stars. For intensity. For the twists and turns. For being a Jason Bourne meets the Da Vinci Code meets Inception meets…IDK… A very good international bio-tech/CIA/spy thriller of mega proportions.

Wow.

Just wow.

So…It starts off like a terrorist hunt in the Middle East. CIA agent, Lester Dunn (aka the Matt Damon in my mind’s eye), has been on the hunt for this “invisible man”. And as it does with these overt CIA missions [in movies and books alike] something goes awry. There is a congressional hearing. Fingers pointed. People turn heads. The story changes directions.

It goes from being about the war on terror to being the discovery of God. God in computers. God in drugs. God and how He can influence this war on terror.

Roman Tomasi (aka the Chadwick Boseman in my mind) is one of those “discoverers”. A dangerous, mentally unstable man who has a priest for a best friend, he essentially wrote “God” or Sellah into existence in the form of a computer program.

Meanwhile, Thom Burke (aka Chris Evans in my mind) is on the other side of the world at UCSF, creating work with genetics–RNA to be exact–in discovering the “God” gene…the thing that makes belief in high powers innate among humankind. With the help of his hacker friend, Frankie, and his lab assistant Elaina, he does just that, producing a “God” drug that other earthen entities would love to get their hands on…

I know I’m not even doing this story justice. It’s so twisty as the medical research melds into Sellah for the ultimate controls of people’s minds and beliefs. And it’s good. SO good.

But then you get to the story after the story. There’s this feeling that it’s all done and figured out. And that feeling is so wrong. *jaw dropped and mind blown*
mind blown
And it all becomes more reality than not…and you think it’s all crazy because you can’t believe any of it…

A moment of clarity.

An ending.

Nothing that was wanted or expected.

And all that’s left is a word whispering into the air…

“Wow.”

I couldn’t highly recommend this book more than to say: “GO READ IT!” The story does not disappoint.

*STARTING OFF THE YEAR WITH A BANG!* ~ JANUARY 2017 READ. The bang is my ming have been blown to bits because of the awesomeness.

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Book Proposal Question: What is your work like?

What published stories are similar to your unpublished work?

Umm…

I really don’t know.

It’s one of the toughest questions I must have an answer for on that book proposal.

The thing is, with the exception of the NYC romances I write, all of my stories are truly different from what’s out there.

For Love, Darrows/Love, Carter, I could say it’s like Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. Yes, it does have some Greek myth magical elements and weirdness. It’s not really the same because it deals with LGBTQ themes, has Roman Myth elements and Gods, has a huge contemporary twist to it all. But it’s really too different. I could try to match it to a David Levithan story since he writes a lot of LGBTQ tales, but that’s some big shoes to step into. I’m about halfway through Simon and the Homo Sapien Agenda, and maybe I could compare to that, but at this point, I only see one minor thing that could connect the two stories. And the other stories I’ve read are too adult to compare, really.

This seems to be a thing that crosses from Human Touch to Darrows to Sync to…well, I won’t mention them since I’m not that far into writing them yet. My stories tend to be not like what’s on the shelves. That I’ve read or found anyway.

What I need is help. Or advice. Or both. How do I find similar books on shelves?
How can I compare if I’ve not read them?
Should I read them first before making those all-important comparisons?

I just don’t know. And Google hasn’t been much help.

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all gifs found through giphy.com.

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Filed under author woes, book proposal, Chris Evans, frustrations out the wahzoo, i resolute, LGBTQ, love carter, love darrows, publish it, self-doubt

Working on my writer’s resolutions…

Started the final rewrite on my YA LGBTQ story, Sync or Swim, yesterday. I plan on entering it into a few contests and/or submitting to agents who are actively searching for LGBT stories. Got in touch with my reader and he’s going to comb through it for me. Looking for one more reader to add a new set of critical eyes. I am excited about that one finally being done done.

This morning, I found a publisher who is accepting book proposals for LGBTQ stories. Google will help me learn how to write a proper book proposal. (I hope.) Then I plan on submitting my Love, Darrows/Love, Carter duet for consideration. The gut feeling is still there. Darrows and Carter are meant for something great. And it’s been close a few times. Quite a few times. I’m hopeful that this will be their destiny! *fingers crossed*

In the meantime, Human Touch, my opus of a tale, has been rewritten from beginning to end. I LOVE this version more than the first, more than the last, and DEFINITELY more than that one I will never see again…the one that starts off with a “The Lovely Bones” vibe and feel… It was too dark and dank for a story I wanted to be like a teen soapy romcom with ghosts, angels, demons, and a FBI-type bureau in the afterlife all while being contemporary. I feel good about this version. I had a new lovely reader volunteer to read it–in addition to the two people I trust most with this story–and she has been sending me good notes and some great criticisms so far. Hoping this is the final destination for that part of the overall series.

Been working on book 4 of that series, being in editing/rewrite/second draft. Been working on an off-shoot story about one of the secondary characters in the series, Callum (see gif…he’s very much a Cap inspired character). Because his story is complicated and really compelling. Writing notes on two other stories, compiling images, drawing floorplans…hoping to get busy typing on those soon. After the others are complete.

So far, 2017 has blessed me with the gift of stories. I am VERY THANKFUL for the plethora of tales, especially since the block of 2016 (June-September) sparked major doubts about writing in my mind.

How’s your writing goals coming along so far this year?

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Review: Out of Line

Out of Line
Out of Line by Jen McLaughlin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The last book of the year [2016] and first book of the year [2017].

A really good sold four-star New Adult romance. It was a definite rated-R movie, not bordering any NC-17 territories.

Carrie is a college freshman at a university in San Diego, CA. She also happens to be a Senator’s daughter. And this Senator is over-protective of his little girl, sending security guards after her at every turn.

Finn just so happens to be the man groomed/chosen/hand-picked for the position. As a twenty-three year old Marine, he has the muscle and brawn to keep Carrie safe.

He also falls for her, which goes against everything her father made him promise not to do, even having him sign contracts saying he’d keep away. And that’s the problem. He wants to break all those rules. Because he falls for Carrie. Hard. And she falls for him. Even harder.

The story had those tensions…Can we? Should we? But I love you. But we can’t. Oh, yeah, and there’s this guy…for lack of a better term, Cody…Cory? Something like that. Perfect type of high drama in a romance. Perfect amount of sweet to balance that out. Because when it was good between them, it wasn’t just sex. It was doing things like surfing and helping the homeless…and it was great.

I would even venture to say this one could be a stand-alone as it wraps up nicely. But once you’re in, you can’t get out without knowing the rest. As far as endings go, it was perfect yet worrisome yet…I sort of cheated and looked for the next book to read the description…and I’m so….leaving it blank as not to spoil anything…and I have that one on my TBR list for sure. Book three as well.

Overall, a good story. Staring some Tom-Welling-inspired (Smallville on the WB) thoughts of Finn.

*A DECEMBER 2016* & *STARTING OFF THE YEAR WITH A BIG BANG ~ JANUARY 2017* Read.

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